If fretting wagering on NFL spreads — historically the sharpest lines available at any book — props can be an intriguing and outright fun way to have an invested incentive in a player’s performance each and every week. This ongoing series will be a weekly feature outlining my favorite player props for TNF, including the six detailed below. All props and odds have been sourced accordingly and tracked for accountability at the bottom of every write-up.
Rob Gronkowski First Touchdown (+1,000) — PointsBet Sportsbook
Ke’Shawn Vaughn First Touchdown (+1,300) — PointsBet Sportsbook
Ke’Shawn Vaughn Anytime Touchdown + Buccaneers Win (+390) — PointsBet Sportsbook
Gronkowski had already been trending in the right direction before O.J. Howard (torn Achilles’) went down. Over the last two weeks, for example, the 31-year-old veteran has played 90% of Tampa Bay’s offensive snaps, accruing an 11.9% target share, two targets inside the 10-yard line and a route run on 66.4% of Tom Brady’s dropbacks — admittedly a median number, but still well above his 50% route rate through the team’s first two games. We should expect his usage to grow (or at the very least stay the same) against a Bears Defense allowing a 75% Success Rate to tight ends in the red zone.
Like Gronkowski’s prop, I’ll only be sprinkling a 0.5 unit on Vaughn’s numbers. But the rookie could conceivably hit (and hit big) since the Buccaneers will only have two available running backs dressed for tonight’s game. Vaughn came off the bench for LeSean McCoy (ankle, out) in Week 4 and immediately earned Brady’s trust on the most important part of the field, scoring the go-ahead nine-yard touchdown with one of his four touches on Tampa Bay’s last three possessions. He’ll at least start the game with a third-down role over Ronald Jones.
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Jimmy Graham UNDER 29.5 Receiving Yards (-115) — PointsBet Sportsbook
Nick Foles was finally afforded a competitive game script last week, and it was Graham who tied Anthony Miller for the fourth-highest target share (11.9%) on the team behind Allen Robinson (23.8%), Darnell Mooney (21.4%), and David Montgomery (14.2%), the latter who unsurprisingly saw a career-high six targets in his first game without Tarik Cohen (torn ACL). This is purely a bet against 33-year-old Graham keeping relevant beyond a month into the season.
Scotty Miller UNDER 51.5 Receiving Yards (-115) — PointsBet Sportsbook
If there is one thing the Bears have successfully done, it’s keeping opposing quarterbacks grounded with 297 < 241 < 238 < 190 yards and three combined scores to open the year. And because of that, Thursday arguably makes for Miller’s toughest matchup with the least plausible upside to date in place of Chris Godwin (hamstring) on the boundary; not to mention the former is playing with only one limited practice to finish the week under his belt. Note that this number initially opened at 55 before being bet down.
Last Week: 1-2, -0.1 Unit
Season: 8-11, +5.4 Units